Musings of a Little Girl in the Big City

Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

When you are a city dweller during the week, going to the park could literally feel like a mini vacation.

That is why the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is one of my favorite places to visit locally. It’s a stunning 52 acre flower park with lush greenery and beautiful open areas – it’s a highly enjoyable oasis in any warm season month.

But, the Garden is probably  most popular when the cherry blossoms bloom on the cherry esplanade. And yes, it will be what you’ve wished for and more.

Something about the fluffy pink petals delicately layered on top of each other to make one beautiful flower–think the likes of peonies or ranunculus–will make any girl’s (or guy’s) heart swoon.

My boyfriend took me to go during their Sakura Matsuri or the Cherry Blossom Festival this past weekend (April 26-27), and if you missed it, here is a quick recap.

But first some pictures:

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Sakura Matsuri
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Sakura Matsuri
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Sakura Matsuri
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Sakura Matsuri
Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Sakura Matsuri

 

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Sakura Matsuri

 

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Sakura Matsuri

If you are thinking of visiting the park during Sakura Matsuri, prepare yourself for a BIG eclectic crowd! Locals as well as domestic tourists,  tourists from Asia and Europe all fill up the park. There arealso quite a few cosplayers and American women in kimonos who apparently come to flock and flaunt their costumes here on this day! If this is your thing, yes, then I suggest you go. It is your time to shine my friend.

But for the rest of us folks who are not willing to channel their favorite inner anime character (do I still dream of becoming Sailor Moon? Yes. Will I actually do it? Probably not LOL.) and wish to just enjoy the cherry blossoms, I would probably suggest to go on a different weekend. It’s just less crowd to maneuver around! Also there is some food there but prepare to wait in a long line. Since we are an impatient couple, when the line for the food wasn’t moving, after 10 minutes we decided to say forget it and went to go get sushi outside the park at Sushi Katsuei – more info on that later.

Here are some tips on going to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden:

  • You can buy advanced tickets here or purchase tickets on site on a regular weekend for $15 . If you’re a student, bring your ID with you for a student discount ($8).
  • If you decide to go during the Sakura Matsuri, tickets are $30. I highly recommend you buy them in advance to get in the much shorter line!
  • Other than at Sakura Matsuri, you cannot picnic at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden so leave your blankets and food etc at home. If you really want to push your luck and try to sneak in food and blankets, do so at your own risk! Or else, security guards may yell at you…speaking from personal experience here haha!
  • Check here to see the status of the blooms
  • Lastly, please don’t hit, shake, or touch the blossoms to force the petals off the trees for your entertainment or a ‘gram. Show some respect to the trees people!

But, even if you go after the cherry blossom season, the garden is truly an amazing place to visit. There are rose gardens and other flower gardens that will make you feel like you’ve been plucked away from the city and transported somewhere magical. I highly recommend visiting during any season, weather-permitting.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden


 

A post shared by Yumi Iizuka (@lafreisia) on


So if you missed the Sakura Matsuri good news is, unless you’re a cosplayer, not to worry. The park is still well-worth visiting.

Lastly, we ended our trip on a high note by taking a short train ride and walking over to Park Slope to get some sushi at Sushi Katsuei. I love this neighborhood, but honestly Park Slope is not the neighborhood you want to head over to to get good sushi, but Sushi Katsuei is an exception. If you’ve heard people talk about this place, yes you can believe the hype!

 

Sushi Katsuei
Entrance to Sushi Katsuei
Sushi Katsuei
Sushi prepared by Japanese chef

 

Chu-toro at Sushi Katsuei
Chu-toro at Sushi Katsuei

 

Sushi Katsuei

Last time we were here on my birthday almost two years ago and had a lovely time so it was great to be back (my boyfriend may actually not even have been my boyfriend yet now that I think about it haha!) For around $50-$60 a person,  you can do chef’s “omakase” course and each bite had me humming with delight the entire time.

Below is a map of how to get there from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.



I hope you enjoyed this post! If you’ve been to BBG during the Cherry Blossom Festival, or if you are you thinking of going next year, I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Cherry Blossom Festival